Baby Vision Development: Birth to 2 Years
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From the day a baby is born, they learn to use their eyes to aid in their mental, emotional and physical development by taking all the information their tiny little eyes can take.
They are not born with complete vision control; they begin to learn to focus their eyes, move them around, get accustomed to the light, and use all these skills together to achieve optimum vision.
At this point, they also use all the visual information they have gathered to understand and interact with the world around them.
This goes on for a period of time – same way they learn to gradually walk and talk – 6 to 8 months, at which point they will be able to see the world just as well as you do.
It is important to remember that every child is unique and each reaches certain milestones at their own pace.
Here are the general vision milestones to watch out for as your baby develops.
Babies can see shapes and movement even though most of it is still blurry at this point. Babies will squint at a bright light. Your baby can only focus on objects 8 to 12 inches away; just far enough to make out your face when you are holding them. It is no wonder that they are most fascinated by your face at this age. So ensure you give your baby lots of up-close time.
Birth to Four Months
At birth, babies have not yet developed the ability to distinguish between two images or move their eyes between the two images. But soon after, their vision rapidly improves and they begin to develop eye-hand coordination.
Within the first two months, the baby’s eyes are not well coordinated and may seem to wander or to be crossed. This is no cause for alarm unless the condition persists causing the eye to appear turned in or out. Then an eye exam will be warranted by your optometrist.
By eight weeks, they can focus easily on faces and recognize their parents or a person near them. At this stage, they are either friendly at visitors or begin to develop anxiety and cry when they recognize an unfamiliar face.
Five To Eight Months
Baby’s eye control and eye-body coordination continue to improve as they begin to develop depth and judge if objects are near or far. They are able to see colors and show a preference.
Since they are crawling at about 8 months old, they learn to coordinate crawling with eye movement to further explore their world.
Nine To Twelve Months
At around 9 months, babies can now judge especially well between distances and even throw objects with accuracy. They have developed better eye-hand coordination hence they can pull themselves up to a standing position and grasp objects with thumb and forefinger. By the age of twelve months, most babies are crawling and trying to walk.
One To Two Years Old
By the age of two years, a toddler’s depth perception and eye-hand coordination are well developed. Your toddler is very interested in exploring their environment. They can recognize familiar objects, pictures and can scribble in books with crayons or pencils.